Police out in force this long weekend

REGION - Police are urging motorists to take extra care this long weekend in a bid to combat a traditional Labour Day spike in road trauma.

Officers will be out in force over the next four days, cracking down on irresponsible drivers, as part of Operation Arid.

Police intelligence over the past five years reveals a higher rate of road trauma on the Labour Day weekend when compared with other weekends around the same time of year.

Over the past five years there were 13 fatal collisions during the Labour Day weekend.

Forty-eight people have lost their lives this year already, nine more than the same time in 2013.

During the four-day blitz, State Highway Patrol members, local police and the Operations Response Unit will be deployed across the state, zeroing in on areas identified as high risk for road trauma.

Every police vehicle will act as a mobile booze bus and motorists can expect to be breath-tested and drug-tested anywhere and anytime.

VicRoads Transport Safety Services units will join with police in patrolling major arterial routes on selected days, to ensure that all vehicles and drivers are compliant with road laws.

Assistant Commissioner Robert Hill said that many collisions during previous long weekends involved motorcyclists, or trail bike riders travelling on unsealed highways.

He said alcohol and drugs were also common and deadly factors in road trauma data.

"This long weekend we want every road user to seriously consider their actions," he said.

"It is time to learn from the lessons of previous years and take some common sense measures to avoid tragedy.

"If you've had a few drinks, don't get behind the wheel, if you want to get to your destination on time, leave earlier instead of speeding.

"If you do the wrong thing, we will catch you and you will be dealt with accordingly"

"Please, Stay Safe and act responsibly. Take the time to plan any driving activities and do not place yourselves, your loved ones or other road users at risk of being injured or killed."

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